My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

27 October 2006

When The Crowds Are Gone

For some reason there is very little English language coverage of this. It's not exactly the best image of Egypt, but pretending it did not happen will not lead to progress. And by not letting this out to the world we are pretending it did not happen.

I have to be honest, this is one of those times when I find myself left with no choice but to feel ashamed of being Egyptian. It is one of those times when I feel like I don't want to be in Egypt. When I feel like I want protect all the women that I care about (relatives, friends... etc) from this dark side of Egypt.

All my factual information is from Arabic language Egyptian blogs reporting eyewitness accounts. Non-factual information is from other Arabic language blogs that I've read about this. I am going to summarize this issue without stating my opinion for now. References are at the bottom.

The incident:
On October 23rd and 24th, large crowds of men sexually harassed women in the streets of downtown Cairo. Some pictures can be found at the bottom of this Post.

The facts:
  • The crowds seem to have initially gather at a movie theatre where some actors were present for a movie premier. Tickets to the movie ran out and people started breaking glass and stealing posters.
  • The first day involved more unconcentrated/disorganized harrassments. the second day involved larger crowds approaching girls at a time before surrounding them/her and groping them/her.
  • There was no police involvement though Egyptian State Security were no more than 5 minutes away, stationed at Gam3et El Dowal and the American Embassy.
  • The crowds did not spare women that were with their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, relatives.
  • The second day harrassments lasted for more than 4 hours.
  • The men's ages ranged from 10 to 40.
  • Fights between the men sometimes ensued over who gets to assault the victim.
  • Some bloggers report police officers receiving bribes to leave the area.

The stories:
  • One eyewitness recounts a large crowd of youth (shabab) that run after a woman in her early twenties when she trips and falls. The men then start groping her and take off her clothes. The woman gets up, runs, and hides inside a restaurant. The men surround the restaurant until someone shouts, "there is another one at ....". The crowds then run to that location to find another woman completely surrounded by hundreds of men trying to feel her and take off her clothes. A taxi driver takes that woman in his car but the men surround the car and shout for the girl to come out. A Security Officer (appears to be non-government) tries to fend the people off by hitting them with his baton. The crowds do not easily disperse until they see two women wearing the overall Saudi/Gulf veil & abaya walking alone. The crowds then completely surround them, before touching them and taking off their veils. They attempt to take their clothes off while 10/11 year old boys get in their abayas.
  • A well known actress, Ola Ghanem, was seen surrounded by her bodyguards fending off the crowds but were unable to completely protect the actress.
  • A woman in a veil and abaya is harassed by men who take off her abaya before two building Security guys took her into the building and locked the door to protect her.
  • A woman in tighter pants and a normal shirt is harassed and men take off her shirt and bra. A security person takes her into a shop fending off people with a stick.
  • Much worse assaults are reported by the word of mouth but are not witnessed. One in which a woman was sexually assaulted against a wall after taking off all her clothes.
  • Men cheered this before attacking a victim, "yaay, we will f***, we will f***". (yaay is my rough translation for 'heyeh').
  • And when they find another victim, "another woman, another woman".
  • And when they see women in veil & abaya, "go Saudi, go Saudi". (go is my rough translation for 'beep beep').
  • And when surrounding a taxi and calling for a victim to get out of the car, "get out you sl*t, we will show you". The woman was later forced out like they wanted!
  • Some bloggers warned women against entering the troubled areas, and most listened. Some women sought protection with the bloggers as they had cameras. The men did not assault these women fearing that they might be journalists.
  • Some men were observed to use their belts to ward off the crowds and then take the victim in a taxi and flee.
  • Some shop owners sprayed water to disperse the crowds and hailed for the women to come inside.

The possible causes:
The overwhelming response from Egyptian blogosphere is obviously outrage. Though the response is emotional and angry, I was able to identify some possible causes of this incident that were suggested. They might overlap and contradict, but here they are anyway:
  • People were under the added pressure of the fast during Ramadan abstaining from 'sin'. On Eid El Fetr, ending Ramadan, the men could finally go back to the routine and all the energy was released at once.
  • Marriage in Egypt is not cheap. Poverty has caused men to marry later in life rather than in their 20's.
  • The lack of sexual freedom in Egypt. Premarital sex is a taboo; two consenting adults cannot very easily have sex.
  • The lack of brothels or sexual outlets, even for money.
  • Education in Egypt is inadequate and insufficient. In other words, people that are educated were not educated properly in addition to the large number of uneducated people.
  • Religious education/awareness is insufficient.
  • Lack of law enforcement.
  • Inequality between men and women as women are viewed as second rate citizens and have a lower status among men.
  • The presence of some freedoms and lack of others. In other words, men can fairly easily find porn, and semi-nude singers are featured in the media yet a man cannot easily find a sexual partner.
Yet, after all this, a cleric claims that Rape Is Women's Fault in a recent post by Freedom For Egyptians.


Eyewitness reports are from Malcolm X and Speaks Freely.
Opinions are from Takhareef, Wa7da_Masreya, Charkawy, GreenData, Johnny Bravo, and ElHaweya, among others.

39 Comments:

Blogger N said...

this post turned my stomache. is there no hope in this senseless excuse of a society!

8:52 AM

 
Blogger Chris in MB said...

That's almost unbelievable, crazy!
No news of it at all over here.

Every once in a while you hear of such things happening elsewhere but to last for several days & on this scale is shocking.

Several years ago a similar thing happened in New York but was limited to several dozen men & only lasted an hour or so in a city park. I believe that made world headlines at the time.

I don't really buy the sexual frustration argument so much. Appears to be more of a mob mentality issue. Sex, violence, religion, politics, love,..... what ever invokes passion, can fuel a mob once critical mass is reached.

Bunch of f-ing mindless sheep.
(sorry, I'm not referring to Egyptians just the mob)

3:41 PM

 
Blogger La Gitana said...

This is possibly the worst thing I could have ever read about Egypt. I applaud you for writing it and more importanly for cementing my desire to go back home to Texas.

4:55 PM

 
Blogger Dee-Vine said...

I am appalled, disgusted and disgraced of what has become of my country.

5:28 PM

 
Anonymous ha ana za said...

I'm quite literally left speechless by this post! Absolutely vile! And to think Egypt claims to be an Islamic society.
Long live el sahwa el islamiya

6:06 PM

 
Blogger Dubai Stud said...

A sad day for Egypt, This kind of manifestation of the dark side of humanity can manifest itself in any country or community.

- brutal killings in Rwanda
- mass murder during partition of India

are just a few examples.

I salute you MechanicalCrowds for not sweeping the issue under the carpet.

9:23 PM

 
Blogger S!lent.Sp!r!t said...

It is truly a shame, and I bet alot is to come in the Gulf countries too where nowadays the one thing all think off is SEX!!

It is hard to identify the problem to have started from one sex as it can be both, men from not being able to stop their sexual desires and believing that life is not just that, and women for showing off their body and having makeup all over...

I just hope we sustain ourselves from sins, and try to learn the religion as God is mercy and there are ways out of the sexual pressure..

God Help!!

10:23 PM

 
Blogger MechanicalCrowds said...

SilentSpirit,

It makes my blood boil when I see you place some blame on women. And it makes me want to cry knowing that you are a woman!

10:34 PM

 
Blogger Red Tulips said...

WOW, thanks for bringing this to the attention of the world!

This is truly troubling!

10:47 PM

 
Blogger halalhippie said...

They attacked veiled an unveiled women alike ?
Then it's not about religion or decency or anything, it's pure reptilian violence.

12:21 AM

 
Blogger Red Tulips said...

halalhippie:

Would it be okay if they only attacked unveiled women? Would you then say "Okay, that's cool!"

I mean, what does the fact that these women are veiled or unveiled have to do with it???

1:41 AM

 
Blogger Lexcen said...

MC, your article reminds me of a book that tries to explain the behaviour of crowds. It is by Elias Canetti called Crowds and Power. It appears that people do behave in strange and unusual ways when finding themselves in a crowd. I do not want to excuse what these Egyptians have done, like you I would seek to understand the reason for this behaviour. Of course your mention of Sheik Hilali is also relevant because it seems that his attitude towards women is shared by a large number of Muslims in Australia, and I suppose in Egypt as well.

9:56 AM

 
Blogger Steven said...

LoL,

No, no you see Red - if the women were vieled then it counts as violence - but if they were not wearing what the society dictates it would be perfectly understandable to rape them.

Excuse me while I say: WTF halalhippie?

2:01 PM

 
Blogger Carmen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:39 PM

 
Blogger Carmen said...

I couldn't even read past the first incident and after I read the first "excuse" I found myself enraged. This is fucked up in a way I can't even begin to express.

3:40 PM

 
Blogger Forsoothsayer said...

it's not as much about the men...as it seems that a lot men would behave this way if given half a chance, if the incidence of rape in the world is anything to go by. the only thing that prvents them is fear of consequences, and what consequences can there be in a lawless society like egypt where women command very little respect?

8:17 PM

 
Blogger halalhippie said...

Red Tulips and Steven: Allow me to clarify: had they attacked only unveiled women, I would have reacted "damn fundy SOB's " etc. but these random acts: It makes me think of reptiles with very little brain, who just bite anything that moves. Think of a football hooligan in a violence rush. A stampeding mob can do the most sick things

10:41 PM

 
Blogger Basil Fawlty said...

I'm not surprised. We're decaying as a country from the inside out, and I don't mean religion: I mean, simple human decency.

11:18 PM

 
Blogger shlemazl said...

Just how useless is Egyptian police?

This is like a horror movie, only it was real for some...

5:35 AM

 
Anonymous a girl who has been there said...

Well, I am not surprised reading this. We all know this has been always happening in Egypt. Don’t tell me you are living in Cairo and you just don’t! Egyptian men are perverts. Horny perverts, that’s what they are. They masturbate in garages, in front of schools, while they are driving theirs cabs, in stores and even in public transportation. Some bully their cousins and sisters to sleep with them and threaten to tell everyone if they utter a word. They harass women while driving they may even reach to get them killed in a car accident they do not give a damn as long as they are having fun! Police even assault women when they stop them claiming to ask for driving license day or night and treat them as whores! Bosses molest women in offices! They do not cease a chance to molest a female in every street in this corrupt piece of Earth called the F**ked up Republic of Egypt. I am telling you this out of me personal experience. I am not paranoid, but I am assuring you that there is NOT ONE woman in Cairo who has not been visually or physically harassed before in her entire life. Ask any of your girlfriends in Cairo yourself! Ask them if they have not been touched by a moron in the street before! I dare any woman who would say I HAVE NOT been abused in the streets in Cairo! I dare any of them to say they have been left alone in this filthy country. Egyptian men just make me want to puke!

In Cairo, women do not try to avoid being just violated, they try to avoid getting raped. I am sorry for this comment, but this is the ugly truth.

11:56 AM

 
Anonymous Blacklander said...

I've read about it on blogs when it happened, later confirmed the story by calling some trusted friends who witnessed the whole thing. The interestin part is this: a policeman threatend to use his gun, not against the assaulters, but against Wael Abbas, the editor of www.misrdigital.com , because he was taking photographs of the incident. This government is only capable of protecting its masters, not the people. Lying and hiding facts is their best asset.
Also, many people said this happens almost everytime there's an events that's particularly crowded.
I propose standing guard in downtown next Eid with whips to deter these animals ourselves since the government won't do it.

11:46 AM

 
Blogger lax said...

Jesus, how it is terrifying! I was going visit Cairo in November, thnks God I decided not to go!

4:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, when I read the eyewitness accounts, I was horrified, shocked, angry, nauseous, sad...so many other things.

I have seen people discuss rhetorically, "What can be done," but not any specific calls to action. Okay, I admit, I don't have any grand ideas of my own, witness that I am too stupid to figure out how to log in as a blogger, and had to do it anonymously...

Does anyone know of specific calls to action? A plan for next year? For tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after the day after?

6:34 PM

 
Blogger dick said...

MC: no need to feel ashamed of being egyptian over this. Renouncing the assholes who did this is plenty! At least for me. In fact, I admire you for having the two courages: to admit the problem and to denounce it.

My hope is that egyptian women will begin to unite based on this. There's an obvious need for a powerful egyptian women's lib movement (true of practically all muslim societies, actually). Too much energy is wasted debating issues like the hijab, which are - at most - symbolic. The real issue is how women are treated. Incidents of mass rape make this issue crystal clear. That's why I'm hopeful that women will do something.

Once women become more self aware and assertive, of course, those societies are going to change for the better in a number of other ways too.

9:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with dick.
I live in Japan, and although I have never heard or seen anything close to this scale, the issue has to be organized and work with schools, posters on trains and public transportation, and news stories of a positive kind, ANd then it takes years and years and years. BUt I have seen a change for the better over 20 years that I have visited and now live in Japan.

Edo River rising

3:10 PM

 
Blogger D.C. said...

"and women for showing off their body and having makeup all over...

I just hope we sustain ourselves from sins, and try to learn the religion as God is mercy and there are ways out of the sexual pressure."


My God, Silent Spirit, how sad to hear this from an intelligent woman. With self respect and true respect for humanity, we can't blame victims of aggression for being victims, whether male or female. Don't listen to the imans but ask God himself, if he is around, he will tell you.

MC explains the causes very well in his post. Moreover rape and sexual assaults are crimes and they have nothing to do with the "purity" or so called "modesty" of the victims, the cause is pathological sexual repression. It seems to be a growing problem is Islam.
Have you been following last year rape epidemic in the West and also how gang rape is sanctioned in Pakistan by village council.
Sometimes, they will punish a male, a female or a family for an "offense" by gang raping one of the girls in that family. Then this girl or woman is expect to commit suicide for having brought dishonour to her family. This is because the "honour and rights" of a group matter more than the human's rights. This is just sick and profoundly immorale, no matter what culture, religion or race.

Western Muslims' Racist Rape Spree - FP

Pan-European Arab Muslim Gang Rape Epidemic - IRIS WARNING, difficult photo.

3:39 PM

 
Blogger cairoflock said...

This disaster happened because misr has turned into a lawless society. Add to that poverty, mass unemployment, and general hopelessness, you get an erosion of morality. But did this get any coverage on egyptian news? or even al jazeera? and what were the comments like?

3:44 PM

 
Blogger cairoflock said...

and I agree with dc, silent spirit, you really need to reconsider your stance on this issue. Please do not blame the victim, nobody deserves to get molested and assaulted on the street, even if she's walking around naked. And Allah does not excuse rapists because they responded to temptation, in fact the thing that makes us human and not animals is that we have the ability to make moral choices and not be prisoners to our instincts.

3:47 PM

 
Blogger Miss Canthus said...

This is gut-wrenchingly disturbing.

I suspect that this sort of behavior occurs when males (including the clerics) start to see their power over women eroding. They start clutching at whatever devices they can find to prevent women from escaping their "role". Fear of male reprisal works wonders on some women, but has the opposite effect on others.

I am sure that right now there are educated Egytian women meeting to brainstorm what they can do to change their society's view of women. Change does not come from the males, it comes from the females.

I am sure that the future will prove that this sort of violence marks the beginning of the end for their male-dominated culture.

It may surprise many readers to know that it wasn't that long ago in western society that women wouldn't press charges against their rapist because judges blamed the woman for having been raped. Her previous sexual conduct and her attire were brought up during the trial!! Yes, as recently as 30 yrs ago, in our society, women were lead to believe it was their own fault!!

Our society is not long out of the grip of male-domination. Remember the women's liberation movement? It happened in the 70's. It started with women. It worked.

Until women choose to take action to improve their own situation, things will not change. It takes courage, it takes guts and it takes time.

I hope it happens sooner rather than later, but they are starting from a much different point than western women started.

I wish them luck.

7:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, was shocked to hear about these attacks and think a lot of what happened was due to a mob mentality. I am a woman living in Washington DC. I don’t know how much press this received, but this past summer, a similar event happened in New York City. It did not last as long, and the police did intervene, but groups of men at the end of a festival started hosing women with water and ended up grabbing them, ripping off their clothes and assaulting them. There were many victims, and the attacks went on for a few hours. Festival participants caught it on tape and it made the news here in the States.

Given the current political climate in the United States and the alleged “War on Terror,” I am very concerned that some may focus on the fact that the Cairo event happened in a Muslim country. I cannot say to what degree culture and/or religion added to this situation, but I think it important to remember in Cairo, New York, or England after a football game, that mobs can be violent and with little reason.

9:48 PM

 
Anonymous Nina said...

I, too, was shocked to hear about these attacks and think a lot of what happened was due to a mob mentality. I am a woman living in Washington DC. I don’t know how much press this received, but this past summer, a similar event happened in New York City. It did not last as long, and the police did intervene, but groups of men at the end of a festival started hosing women with water and ended up grabbing them, ripping off their clothes and assaulting them. There were many victims, and the attacks went on for a few hours. Festival participants caught it on tape and it made the news here in the States.

Given the current political climate in the United States and the alleged “War on Terror,” I am very concerned that some may focus on the fact that the Cairo event happened in a Muslim country. I cannot say to what degree culture and/or religion added to this situation, but I think it important to remember in Cairo, New York, or England after a football game, that mobs can be violent and with little reason.

9:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't know whether this is a big joke or a sad reality

1:51 AM

 
Anonymous Liz Henry said...

I propose that mobs of women take back the streets!!!!! Together!

Mobs of angry women should get out there and patrol. Also women should join the police force and make change happen that way too.

I understand many of the reasons offered and yet, consider the ways those reasons dehumanize men, as if they are animals with impulses that can only be controlled by marriage. I don't believe this for even a single second. When men are raised with the belief in their own entitlement to women's bodies, their right to satisfy every impulse, their belief in their own power, and in women's powerlessness, and that women are objects... then they turn into violent rapists.

As far as the sexual frustration issue, they can learn to masturbate... It's NO excuse for violence against women.

1:45 AM

 
Blogger Precious said...

It took me over an hour to get over my shock for reading this..
I feel so sorry for my sisters in egypt for having to go throug such incident..

The reasons MC mentioned apply on may arab countries, including my country Sudan. Sudan and Egypt are similar in so many ways, and the people as well..

I can't stop my self from thinking what if such a thing happened here as well..

A scary thought for me, specialy that I go along way to work everyday all by my self..

What is to be done in Egypt to prevent this from happening again?
What can we do here to prevent it from ever happening!!

11:18 AM

 
Anonymous Brother Anonymous said...

Mechanical Crowds,

What is happening in Egypt is only the worst example of what is happening in numerous parts of the globe.

We men have decided among ourselves that it is socially acceptable to act out our frustrations by harming women. Think of it for a moment: honour killings, dowry deaths, female genital mutilization, female infanticide, custodial rape, domestic abuse, sexual slavery, forced marriages, serial murder. Need I go on? Do not all of these reflect our agenda?

You are only feeling your eyes opened to what is happening all around us that all we men have agreed to keep hidden and unspoken.

All of us. Me here in Canada. You there in Egypt.

Thank you for being courageous enough to speak out about man's violence towards woman. We men of this world owe women an apology.

Who will apologize?

Brother Anonymous

5:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FFE, come join me.


A Call to End Gender Persecution
Globally by January 1, 2020


This document is subject to revision without notice. This is revision 29.

The master copy is located at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/call1.html.

Gender persecution is not a “fact” of life.

Gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive of human-rights abuses. It covers a range of injustices – from gender abuse to systematic rape and from pre-birth sex selection to female genital mutilation – that affect as many as one in three women. [UNFPA.] (1)

Aware of the widespread and increasing trend of gender-based violence in the world today, Vision 2020 calls for an end to gender persecution globally by or before January 1, 2020.

I think of an egalitarian world as one in which one’s rights do not depend on one’s gender. In an egalitarian world, both genders enjoy equal rights and dignities. They are “gender-equal” even though biology makes different demands on each.

The Nairobi Forward-Looking Platform defined equality in the following manner:

“Equality is both a goal and a means whereby individuals are accorded equal treatment under the law and equal opportunities to enjoy their rights and to develop their potential talents and skills so that they can participate in national political, economic, social and cultural development and can benefit from its results. For women in particular, equality means the realization of rights that have been denied as a result of cultural, institutional, behaviourial and attitudinal discrimination.” (2)

Gender persecution, meanwhile, is a condition of life, and not a principle. It is an artifact (an artifact is a human creation), and not a fact of life. There is nothing in the laws of nature that says that gender persecution must exist.

Gender persecution has disappeared as an everyday feature of the lives of enough people on this planet that it becomes clear and conceivable that it need not be a feature of the lives of any.

Gender persecution traces itself to a philosophy variously called patriarchy, male chauvinism, machismo, or sexism. It perpetuates the second-class citizenship and abuse of women.

This philosophy is characterized by two beliefs: one is the belief that there is no higher law than brute strength and the other is the belief that men are superior to women. Both these beliefs are contradicted by the teachings of the wisest religious leaders in all our sacred traditions as well as human-rights leaders in all our societies.

If we believe that there is no higher law than brute strength, we feel empowered to use that strength, in all its forms, to get what we want. In this Darwinian paradigm, our lives become a struggle for existence in which only the strongest survive. The death and destruction that results is cloaked in a mantle of principled legitimacy.

The second notion follows from the first. Because males as a gender deem themselves to be stronger than females, men deem themselves to be superior to women. In the social order that results, the words of men receive more weight. Their evidence counts for more than that of women. Their decisions are final. Their will is to be followed wherever men head up a unit of society.

Where it feels the need to justify itself, patriarchy relies on scripture, tradition, or necessity. It has no room for human rights. It exists solely because of our agreement to allow it and has no strength outside of our continued willingness to live by it.

In 2005, Human Rights Watch described “violence and discrimination against women [as] global social epidemics.” (3) These epidemics give rise to female feticide, female infanticide, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, sexual slavery, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, rape, custodial rape, judicial gang rape, acid attacks, brideknapping, forced marriage, patrilineal inheritance, domestic abuse, inequitable divorce, forced sterilization, dowry deaths, honour killings, and serial murders.

The chauvinistic social order I have described was forever challenged on December 10, 1948, when the international community, in the form of the United Nations General Assembly, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR called for an entirely new social order worldwide.

The UDHR states that all human beings, male or female, are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone, it says, has the inalienable right to life, liberty and security of person. No one should be held in slavery or servitude. No one should be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. All human beings are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection from it.

In the years following the publication of the UDHR, the women’s movement has carefully conceived the contours of a gender-equal world, a world that works for everyone, in a literature that is umbrageous and thorough.

In my estimation, nothing I can say would add to the excellent knowledge base that has been established in these documents.

The ending to the story of gender persecution has, in my view, already been written. The message is clear: No man on this planet has the right, for any reason whatsoever, to threaten or violate the life, liberty, or security of person of a woman.

What is lacking now is the cooperation, the political will, of us men to stop our violence and our threats of violence on the planet. If the men of this world realized the misery and damage we have caused women over countless centuries, we would join together and apologize. I do here apologize to all women in their name, in a heartfelt manner, anticipating the day when all men will join me in that apology.

Interim measures that appear discriminatory may be needed to stop the abuse. These measures are aimed at creating a just and fair balance. To my way of thinking, Article 4.1 of CEDAW should apply to them:

“Adoption by States Parties of temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in the present Convention, but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved.”

Many concerted actions will be needed to bring this sordid chapter in global history to a close. My own experience in refugee adjudication alerts me to the need, at every level of governance, to have wise laws, an uncorrupted police and army, a fair judiciary, and adequate prison facilities to provide effective state protection to women who are persecuted for gender reasons.

For me, the end of gender abuse will come when honest, effective state protection exists in all countries and deters would be criminals and persecutors. Obviously no government can stop every isolated act by a determined criminal or persecutor, but gender persecution as a global social epidemic can be brought to an end.

I cannot predict what all it would take to bring an end to gender abuse on this planet by or before January 1, 2020, but I do know that such a goal is feasible if everyone involved in the work accepts that date as a deadline and acts in a concerted fashion to attain it.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would put a man on the moon by 1970; the astronauts landed on the moon in 1969. A deadline allows for a coordination of efforts that is not possible otherwise. I recommend its use in all social-action programs, not simply this one.

A world with the skills to put a man on the moon surely has the skills to see that each woman has a free, safe, and equal place on Earth.

Good and decent people can put an end to gender persecution. In my view, it is simply the right thing to do. The planet as a whole is ready for this next evolutionary step in civilization.

Notes

(1) UNFPA, http://www.unfpa.org/16days/, downloaded 7 Feb. 2005.
(2) Nairobi Forward-Looking Platform. New York: U.N., 1986.)
(3) “ Women’s Rights,” Human Rights Watch 2005.

- Steve Beckow
Vision 2020
unity22@shaw.ca
http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/index30.html
Vancouver, Canada
Written: January 1, 2007
Last revised: February 8, 2007

5:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I really don't know whether this is a big joke or a sad reality"

This is reality. Unfortuntely, it's not something that needs to be prevented by next years Ramadan - it's need to happen today. As a western woman visiting misr [egypt] for the third time the harassment only seems to get worse.
Why should I be subjected to CONSTANT, unending, unwanted, derating harassment? This includes the endless cat calls, hissing, heyeh, "I love you.", "Beautiful.", and today's topper - "I like pussy." It is out right appalling and very much so not how a good muslim should carry out his life.
Being followed and groped isn't my idea of a nice vacation either, guys. Needless to say I don't think I'll be back a fourth time.
A change needs to come about. Let's start by letting the egyptian woman keep their clitorouses. What do you say?

9:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm disgusted. The act of rape is conducted on behalf of a male's desire for power over another human being. It has nothing to do with sexual attraction. If premarital sex is taboo for two consenting individuals, maybe egyptian law should consider how taboo being a rape victim is. Acts that go unpunished only create more monsters to repeat that very act. Those young boys are going to think raping and groping women strangers is okay-normal, because the older men, their role models, do it.

WOW. I have a headache thinking about it. I was just reading this article "In Egypt, Some Women Say That Veils Increase Harassment" in the Washington Post and the article made a reference to this story. You are correct, its as if its been covered up, I made several searches before I found the story.

And Oh dear, I just read the last comment. I'm so happy that men and women are considered equal in the law and in the life of The United States.

9:04 PM

 
Blogger cv said...

Had no words to speak. its really shame on the Egypt government. This was something many still don't know of Egypt and its society. I had a online friend from Egypt and he just left this place along with his family..Hope you need to share this with face book and twitter..


Mechanical Maintenance Engineer CV

1:15 PM

 

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